Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up

So another NaNo has come and (almost) gone. If you are still working, get to it! *cracks whip* If you're done, congratulations. Honestly though, congrats to everyone who took on the challenge. Even if you didn't "win", I hope you still ended up with words. I "won" a couple days ago and I'm now trying to put the finishing touches on the draft since my editor really seems like she wants it...yesterday.

Here's the thing though. I'm not sending it to her yet.

The only person who has seen more than little snippets of this piece (those are available on the Blood Kissed Facebook page--I'd love it if you liked me there) is my incredibly awesome alpha-reader, Katee. She's been one of my betas since my second novel, and she gets me like no one else. This time she stepped up to the plate and has been reading Kiss of Death in it's most raw form so that once I'm done with the draft, I can revise with a plan in mind. Which means I can get it to the crazy people who are willing to speed-beta for me hopefully by the weekend. And then I can revise again next week and get it to my publisher.

Some of you are probably shaking your heads and saying, "OMG, is she nuts?" To which I answer, "Yes. Yes, I am." I wouldn't normally work like this. My usual course of action is to finish the draft, let it sit for a couple weeks, revise, then if I'm okay with it, send it to betas. As often as not though, I still don't think it's ready for them and I'll let it sit longer and revise again before sending to them. Then, with their feedback in hand, I revise again (maybe more than once). So normally, after the rough is done, it's a minimum of a month before I send it out to agents/editors. Did I mention minimum?

So while I am demonstrating that the usual way doesn't always work (crazy deadlines), my methods are still similar. I'm still doing revise, beta, revise before I send it out, because I don't want people in charge to see something that isn't the best I can make it (in the time allowed).

And you shouldn't either. I know I have readers here who aren't published yet. I know a zillion people did NaNo this year. And what I want to tell you is your stuff is not ready to send. The big-time authors I know who do NaNo don't send their NaNo drafts to their agents/editors, and none of us should either. Every manuscript needs some sort of real critique before it gets sent out, and every manuscript needs revision (beyond spell-check, though that's important too).

Every year agents complain about the amount of unpolished NaNo work they get every December/January. Don't be part of the problem. Revise it until it's shiny. Do your homework on agents and how to query. Do everything you can to make it as perfect as possible.

And for heavens sake, don't follow my example this year. Remember: I'm nuts.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Worth the Wait

About a week ago I got my paperwork from Carina Press with my official blurb and stuff. It listed my cover artist as Frauke Spanuth. Since I still didn't have my cover, I had to go hunt up some of her work. Turned out she had designed some of my favorite Carina covers. The ones that I looked at and just said "Wow."

Since that email, I've kept clicking to my inbox, hoping for my cover art to arrive. Wednesday night while I was out to dinner, it did. Can I just say it was worth the wait? She captured the stark feel of the landscape and Ever's calm demeanor perfectly. I know there will be some people who have issues with the lipstick, but I love the way it draws attention to her face. More subtle aspects, like the way her hair fades into the sky almost looking like wispy clouds and the way the Dark Hawk almost glows in the sunlight are just gorgeous. I hope you like it just as much as I do :)

[caption id="attachment_478" align="aligncenter" width="518" caption="Copyright © 2010 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited "][/caption]

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Denial: Sea Born

When trying to decide whether to continue with #FridayFlash, I realized I wouldn't stick with it without a plan. Last week's character study gave me an idea though, and I've decided to take a page from my friend, Danielle's, book and do a series for five weeks showing the five stages of grief, each one from the perspective of a different character.

The first stage is denial, and who better to show this than the woman whose dream she gave up her life for was torn away by the very home she left. With that I give you the scene that precipitated my mermaid novel-in-progress, Surrender to the Tides.

Sea Born

From a chair ten feet past the high tide line, Liera watched as waves licked the shore. The salty tang on the breeze brought back memories of seashells and coral reefs and she smiled, wishing she could frolic in the water with Joshua and the kids. Andrew dunked his sister, and Alicia sprang up, water spraying in a cascade as she flipped her long auburn hair. They were glistening, beautiful, like they belonged to the sea. Liera’s lips curled into a smile at the thought.


She turned toward the voice, catching sight of a round little woman waddling up the beach, her salt and pepper hair sprayed so heavily the breeze didn’t touch it. “Sonya, hello.” Brushing herself off, Liera embraced her. “Looks like your arthritis is doing better today.”

Sonya shrugged from her arms. “Better than most. Why are you on the sand again? You should be in the water with your children. They won’t be young forever.”

As much as Liera agreed with her, joining them in the ocean was impossible. “The sea frightens me too much. I don’t want them to live in the shadows of my fear, so I stay here while they have their fun.”

Shielding her eyes from the glare, Sonya frowned. “But you trust them out there? Even though you’re afraid?”

“Joshua’s with them. I know he won’t let—”

“Andrew, no!”

The scream turned Liera’s blood to ice.  Her head twisted in slow motion as if her spine had frozen in place. She saw them just as the water covered her son’s head and Joshua dove under after him. Alicia was nowhere to be seen. Hand clutching at her heart, Liera staggered toward the surf as a young man--a lifeguard--threw himself into the water.

Liera’s toes crossed the high tide line and curled against the sensation while a battle raged in her head.

It isn’t safe here.

I have to go.

Someone else will save them.

They’re my family.

Not if you go in the water.

The warning didn’t matter. Liera was halfway down the beach before hands grabbed her, hauling her away from ocean that had come an inch from licking her toes. A horrible keening rent the air, like the song of the sirens if heard true. Through her thrashing, Liera vaguely realized it came from her throat. Her lungs.

She remembered feeling water rush into them when they'd formed, the searing pain and pressure as she tumbled in the waves, searching for the surface.

Her body crumpled as the seconds ticked by, the terror replaced by something quieter, something deadlier.

“No. Not my babies.” She shook her head, staring at the crashing waves. “This can’t happen to them. They were born for the sea.”

But you denied them that birthright when you became human, little mermaid. You cost them their gills and flippers.

Liera trembled in Sonya’s arms, trying to banish the inner voice as the old woman rocked her back and forth and slid a hand along her hair.

“No. They aren’t gone. They can’t be gone. They are my children,” She whispered, still staring wide-eyed at the water. “Swim, little mers. Swim for all you’re worth.”

In Liera’s mind, slits formed in her children’s necks, letting the water rush out from their bodies even as scales erupted from their skin, sealing their legs together in long, glorious tails. They weren’t dead. Couldn’t be.

She sighed as certainty took hold. It was simple then. If Joshua couldn’t be saved, she’d return to the sea and find her children. Reject the very wish that had brought them to her and go back from whence she came. A tear caressed her cheek as she thought of Joshua and the years they’d shared. Not nearly enough, but he’d given her the life she’d dreamed of and two beautiful children who even now waited for her in the sea’s depths.

Soon, she would join them. No one would question her disappearance. They’d be a family again and she would introduce Alicia and Andrew to all the wonders of the ocean. They would survive this.

Relaxing in Sonya’s arms, she gazed anew at the water as they head of the young lifeguard broke the surface, seafoam coating his body like glitter. Someone ran into the water toward him, reaching out…

And lifting the limp body of her daughter in his arms.

Her eyes shifted back to the lifeguard, who hauled her son’s still form ashore.

Liera’s screams carried over the surf, touching the ears of the denizens of the sea and making them mourn along with her.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Tuesday Teases: Jenny Schwartz

I'm really excited for this one. Before I became a Carina author I had the opportunity to review this author's first book, The Price of Freedom. It was a really good read and a great take on angels and djinn. The one downside of signing with Carina is I don't get to review their books anymore, which is killing me because the second in the series, Angel Thief, promises to be even better than the first. Guess I'll just have to read that one for fun. Without any more rambling from me, please welcome the wonderful Jenny Schwartz!


Hi Seleste! It's lovely to visit and chat about writing and life.

In my mind (which is a weird and wonderful twilight zone) I make a distinction between a writer and an author. A writer writes, an author is published. Yet despite having a couple of books digitally published (and short stories and even poems) I still consider myself a writer, not an author. I'm still learning.

A few years ago, I made the decision to write, which to me meant that instead of occasional attacks of scribbling, I'd commit to finishing things. I couldn't control whether an editor would publish my work, but I could finish, polish and submit it. I was scared, but determined.

I still am, though since then I've learned that:

  • editors are human, friendly, supportive and funny;

  • "writing" isn't some elite activity—it includes blog posts and tweets and comments on friends' blogs and reviews;

  • rejection stings, but it doesn't kill you; and,

  • there's a wonderful online community of writers and readers and it's fun to join in.

But has being a writer changed me?

Do you know the single biggest, most ridiculous change is that I can now tell a joke—and people laugh. Before I challenged myself to write, I used to mess up jokes. I'd stutter, stuff the pacing and forget the punchline. But with repeated attempts to create my own stories, I learned to recognise and memorise the key points of other people's stories, their jokes. Amazing.

Writing really is a craft. There's no shortcuts. Just practice. Butt-in-chair and write. Read, too. Maybe one day I'll even consider myself an author ;)


[caption id="attachment_449" align="alignleft" width="291" caption="Copyright ©2010 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited"][/caption]

Angel Thief, releases Nov 29, from Carina Press


She’s breaking the rules. Again.
An archivist in the heavenly library, Sara must follow protocol when it comes to curating the knowledge of the universe. But "liberating" an ancient text from the collection of a human—an Australian drug lord—could save a boy’s life. Sara has no way of knowing that one of the man’s other treasures is a sexy-as-sin djinni, bound by a wish to guard the estate.

He’s only following orders.

Filip is compelled to turn over intruders, even celestial ones, to his master. When he catches Sara in the library, he isn’t above indulging in some sensual kisses with her, or using her to trick the mobster into wasting a wish. It’s what he must do to preserve his facade of freedom and protect his heart.
But the kidnapping of the drug lord’s daughter forces Sara and Filip to work together—bringing out the hero that lurks within the soul of the djinni, and the passion within the angel.




You can find Jenny:

at her website http://www.authorjennyschwartz.com/

blogging http://www.acquiring-magic.blogspot.com/

or on Twitter @Jenny_Schwartz http://twitter.com/jenny_schwartz

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sleepy Saturday...

It's been a very busy week,what with NaNoWriMo eating my brain and doing edits on The Ghost of Vampire Present. (Did I mention edits are done? Yeah. Madness, but they are done.) So, since I'm not entirely coherent, I'm just going to let you know that I did a post on Blood Kissed over at Daily Dose of Decadence. Please check it out.

Also, I'm going to be doing a kind of crazed blog tour in the first half of December.

On December 1 I'm at Romance Author Hotspot, then I might have some time off (lol, it won't last, so check back for updates)

December 3 'Twas a Dark and Delicious Christmas releases

December 8 We're having a party to celebrate the release of the anthology at the Book Boost. Lots of prizes and fun will be had! (I also have my monthly post at the Para-Posse that day, so make sure you stop by!)

December 12 I'm doing a holiday post at Decadent's holiday blog. Again...prizes!

December 14 The fabulous and funny Deanna Wadsworth is interviewing me over at her blog. We met last year at RT and the two of us always have fun with each other.

December 15 I'm at the eHarlequin Open House, specifically the Carina Press post party. It's an opportunity to meet lots of current and upcoming Carina Press authors, so please pop in sometime during the day

December 16 is the day I will be doing my Holiday Storytime! There will be video of me reading from The Ghost of Vampire Present. For those of you who know me, you are aware getting me on video doesn't happen very often. There are also prizes with this, one every day from Decadent Publishing, and a couple extras from Tilve and Book Matrix Media. Make sure you check out all my friends' vlogs this week too.

December 17 I'll be on the Decadent blog sharing some interesting things about me or Blood Kissed (I haven't decided yet)

December 20 I'm scheduled for an interview with Got Romance

AND I'm planning a short holiday story for one of my characters at Got Romance (date TBD) and an interview with Wicked Little Pixie (date TBD). After all that I might just sleep for a while. In case it isn't clear, all of this means my REGULAR blogging isn't going to happen unless the mood strikes. Hope you'll join me for the blog hop!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

All We Knew

Last week I had the pleasure of doing a #FridayFlash post at Danielle LaPaglia's blog. I enjoyed it so much, I've decided to participate as the mood and ideas strike. But since I'm so focused on my novels right now, I don't want to stray too far from those characters. Therefore, I've decided to use my #FridayFlash time for character studies, delving a little more into their emotions and histories. These will be very inconsistent and only go up when I have the inspiration, but I will always put them up on Thursdays if I have one.

Because I don't want to split my energies (or confuse my new #FridayFlash friends), I'm not separating the YA from the adult stuff. It'll all go here. This week I'm focusing on Elle, one of my teen characters. This would be between books one and two of the series (maybe later, but for now, I'd say there).


All We Knew

The air hits my back, pushing against me unevenly and I tumble.  My lungs burn as I struggle to breathe. There is nothing around me but the darkness, I only know down because I feel the pressure as I fall. My heart thuds in my chest, terror taking hold.

I reach out, grasping for something—anything—to slow my descent. Hopeful fingers brush against flesh that is not mine, and I latch onto you. Without warning, you pull me in and wrap me in your warm embrace, sheltering me from the biting air. With you there is light. Looking into your eyes, I see friendship…love…hope…

In your arms, the fear evaporates; here I am strong. Everything else disappears into the darkness, leaving only us and the falling. Your touch draws out pieces of me better kept hidden, but in your light  they are beautiful.

Then the darkness grabs hold of you, wrenching you from my grasp. I scream your name as you fade into the black.

My arms are empty and the air buffets my body once more, all pretense of safety gone.


All we knew was falling.


And now I fall alone.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday Teases: Leslie Soule

We have a very special guest this week. Fellow Decadent Publishing author Leslie Soule is here, but she isn't here to talk about her own upcoming novel, Fallenwood. Instead, she's dedicating this day and much of her time to promoting another work, one that touched her life greatly. I hope you'll join her on this journey into The Temple of the Heart.

A Simple, Sacred Life

I wanted to write about my stepfather's novel The Temple of the Heart, but I didn't know where to begin. So I decided that the best route would be to take on something huge, something we all have to deal with, like the meaning of life. What is all this for? There are many answers out there. Everyone must find their own. I can only say what life means to me. To me, it is a sacred personal spiritual journey. I did not always think so.

The universe must know that I enjoy theatrical drama, because it sent me an epiphany in a most dramatic fashion. I was walking down a street in San Francisco, fooling myself into false contentment with a lifestyle that was ultimately unfulfilling. The sky was cloudy. I had arrived before daybreak and found myself walking down a steep hill. All of a sudden, the sun came up over the clouds and struck me with the force of the divine. It was the sort of thing I thought only happened in novel or movies - or maybe to the really fortunate. It was the first and only epiphany I have ever had in my life.

I have come to realize that the media, and society in general, teaches us some very harmful philosophies. Fashion magazines and television ads show young women in their formative years that they are not good enough. We are taught to measure success by wealth in America, and we neglect our souls, caught up in the struggle as capitalism leeches our humanity. Last night I was in the martial arts studio, reflecting on the psychological challenges of begin a female martial artist, of wondering how people will see me (overly agressive? weird?) because I too have been programmed over the years in ways that I struggle to comprehend. My reawakening of spirit has seemed a long time coming.

Without my stepfather's spiritual guidance from the age of nineteen on, my young adult years were subject to the unholy influences of a very misguided world. Grief made things immeasurably harder as I struggled for identity and inner peace. My kind stepfather was Richard Albert Anderson, a man of many talents. He was - at various times throughout his life - a Navy man, an art teacher, a state worker, and a Buddhist monk. But beyond his personal background, he was a shining, noble soul - one of those brilliant shooting stars that blazed across the sky and faded all too soon.

He wrote The Temple of the Heart, a semi-autobiographical tale about leaving the monastery to pursue life in all its richness and glory. In dealing with this crazy world, reading it reminds me of my spirit, of the strength of noble compassion and trying your best. Reading his work reminds me not to neglect my soul.

My stepfather's manuscript is now available from Decadent Publishing, with a portion of the proceeds being donated to the American Diabetes Association.


When Joseph Banquo saw that girl come through the gate, it was the end of his life in the monastery.

He had seen her years before in a more innocent time and silently had cast his furtive glance. Now she appeared again. Dressed in a sky-blue sari, she stood by the water on a trellised landing, absorbed in her thoughts. Joseph found himself absorbed in her. Smiling coquettishly, she turned to walk away upon catching his stare and it seemed as if Divine Mother Beauty herself had taken human form. If only he could talk to her, but he was too shy, too hung-up with austerity and discipline, rules and monkish restraint.

What delusion is this? It was a burning desire but seemed so much more, and he wouldn’t admit the power of the physical over the spiritual.

She was forbidden, woman oh woman, but he had begun to notice the female form once more, to not turn his eyes away, to see the languid curve of the supple spine. And the outrush of thoughts after two youthful celibate years had caused him to lose his edge—the wisdom and discrimination that protects the monk. In making progress, in overcoming his strong sexuality, he had relaxed, thinking he had won and that was the end because he found that he no longer had the desire to fight.

Buy from Decadent
Buy from Amazon

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Clicking and Cover Art

First, I got the cover art for the Evernight Publishing holiday anthology. It's so pretty....

Okay, now that I've teased you with something that won't be out until December 3, I have a new story available free...right now. As you know, Danielle LaPaglia shared her flash fiction with us on Tuesday (if you haven't read it, check it out), and yesterday I was on her blog. "More Max" has been something I've heard since Of Course I Try came out. "The Cost of Love" is my answer to that plea. WARNING: If you haven't read Of Course I Try, this story is very spoilerish. Proceed with that in mind. (Click here to read "The Cost of Love")

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday Teases: Danielle LaPaglia

You are in for a special treat today, but only if you are 18 or over. Got that? Adults ONLY, so all you dirty-minded teenagers, move along.

Anyway, Danielle LaPaglia, one of my fellow Rebels from writing group is honoring us not only with the pleasure of her beautiful company, but also with an excerpt from her erotic story Should Have Said No. Danielle is a master of flash fiction, specializing in horror, and her series on the seven deadly sins isn't to be missed. She participates in Friday Flash every week, and this Friday is being kind enough to allow me to post a piece of flash that will be recognizable to anyone who has read Of Course I Try (those of you who wanted more Max, he'll be there). Please check out her flash fiction on her blog and follow her on Twitter. She's funny and brilliant, and a little scary sometimes (but only in the best way). Without further ado, here is her excerpt from Should Have Said No.




Should Have Said No – Excerpt – by Danielle La Paglia

It was painfully clear that she wasn’t getting back to sleep so she tossed the blanket aside and went to wash her face. Her long hair pulled back in a low-ponytail, she slipped on her sports bra, shorts and running shoes. The beach was only two blocks down; a morning run was just the thing to clear her mind. She chugged a half a Gatorade from the fridge, stretched and headed out the door, not bothering to leave a note.

The street was quiet, the air cool against her skin, but the run would warm her in no time. A wide sidewalk stretched between multi-million dollar homes and the open beach. She turned South, toward Balboa, and took off. Later in the day this same stretch would be crammed with bicycles and roller-bladers, but for now she was alone. A few surfers waited in the water, but the beach was deserted. Pale light edged brighter between the homes on her left, turning the sky a beautiful pale blue as it pushed back the twilight.

A light sweat broke across her skin, cooled by the breeze coming off the ocean. She ran, not thinking about the man from the bar last night, or her heart-broken friend passed out in her room. She concentrated on the rhythm of each step slapping against the sidewalk, each breath passing in and out. Everything faded, the houses on her left, the ocean on her right; it was her and the pavement and nothing else. Forty minutes later, she was standing beneath a stream of hot water. It poured over her skin the way his gaze had the night before. She closed her eyes and saw him again, standing confident and gorgeous before her. Instead of reaching for the chair, this time he reached for her. His fingertips trailed across her skin.

Mimicking her vision, she smoothed her hand across her body, up her arm, across her shoulder and down to cup one breast. Despite the heat of the shower, her nipple was a hard bud. She rolled it between her finger and thumb, teasing it. Her other hand trailed lower, gliding across her stomach and down between her legs. She parted them slightly, allowing better access for her finger to slip between the soft folds.

Her breath caught. She squeezed her nipple almost to the point of pain, and drove her finger inside, imagining it was him, the beautiful stranger from the bar. She could almost feel his breath on her neck, his cheek against hers. Her movements became more rapid, urgent with the need to climax. It built inside; she slid her finger up, circling her clit again and again. A white heat burst between her legs, flooding through her core and into her limbs. She bit her lip to keep from crying out.

The sensation ebbed; her muscles relaxed and she gave a final stroke, sending a last jolt through her nerves. One hand on the wall, she leaned into the spray. It poured down her scalp, caressing her tingling flesh before disappearing in the drain.




Danielle is an urban fantasy junkie whose favorite fix comes from the likes of Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine, and Patricia Briggs. She writes horror of every kind: ghosts, werewolves, vampires, and even monsters of the human variety. She is a member of Kelley Armstrong’s online writing group and participates in #fridayflash on Twitter where she posts weekly flash fiction on her blog. She is completing edits on her first novel, The Watchers, and is hard at work outlining her next urban fantasy project. Danielle is also the last Jedi warrior to study under the nearly extinct Scotnadian Yoda.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Announcement Time! (sort of)

As promised, I have an announcement, but because of circumstances outside my control (and lousy planning on my part), I don't get to do it in my normal fashion. Anyway...

Sometime in September, I saw a call for an anthology with a new digital publisher. I was working on The Ghost of Vampire Present at the time and working on the idea for my NaNo project, but I looked at my calendar and wondered if I didn't have time to put something together for this one too. The people who have been following my craziness on twitter or facebook know I stayed busy right up until NaNo started on November 1. I literally took Halloween off, finishing my outline the night before.

But I didn't really take Halloween off. You see, in those couple weeks between finishing The Ghost of Vampire Present and starting on Kiss of Death for NaNo, I penned and submitted a little story called Yes, Alana, There Is a Santa Claus. I received my first round of edits from Evernight Publishing on Halloween and made sure I got them in before NaNo actually started at midnight. The story will be part of their upcoming erotica/erotic romance anthology 'Twas a Dark and Delicious Christmas.

The only sad part is I don't have a cover or release date to share yet. Trust me, when I do I'll be sure to post. Which leads me to announcement number two...

I've finally realized that trying to blog three times a week per blog is killing me. Even with throwing in "easy" blogs, I'm just stretching myself too thin and it's making me enjoy it less. So, Thirsty Thursdays are gone and won't be replaced. My "official" blog days here will be Tuesdays and Saturdays, saving the occasional Thursday for when I have announcements that won't fit (due to guests or planned posts) on the other days. I hope you weren't just here for the drink recipes and will come back for whatever I give you the other days.

And I hope you'll keep an eye out for 'Twas a Dark and Delicious Christmas!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thirsty Thursday: Butt Plug

For the month of November, I'm doing drinks to celebrate NaNoWriMo. That means alcohol AND caffeine--the best of both worlds. So, don't let the names confuse you, these are all designed to keep you happy and awake while completing your 50k.

Butt Plug

6 oz. Red Bull (I used diet, just because)

1/2 oz. vodka

1/2 oz. blue curacao

Fill an old-fashioned glass 1/2 way with Red Bull. Separately, fill a shot glass 1/2 with vodka, 1/2 with blue curacao. Drop shot glass in the other glass and shoot.

Okay, I'm bad about reading directions. I just mixed everything in a glass and added ice.


Me: First it is a really pretty emerald green color, and I am a fan of pretty drinks. What's more is this isn't half bad. It has a very tart fruity taste (mind you I've never had Red Bull before, so maybe that's all I'm tasting). I could definitely sit back and enjoy this sometime when I need to stay awake (hoping it helps for that at least). 8/10

Hubs: Tastes kind of like the off-minty medicine the doctor used to give you as a kid with zero kick. It'd be better if it had more alcohol. 6/10

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tuesday Teases with Wicked Little Pixie

I have a lot of love for book bloggers—like mad love. You see, I love to read but at the best of times the only way I could keep up with people like them would be to give up the rest of my life (no family, no writing, no sleep…fortunately I can eat and read at the same time).  So I have massive respect for people who take the time to read and let people know what they did and didn't like about a book.

Over the past few months, I've gotten to know some of these wonderful people via the magic of Twitter, and I'm luck enough to have one of my favorites here today. I hope everyone will make Natasha, aka Wicked Little Pixie, feel welcome. If you don't, I give her free rein to beat you with her snark-stick.

Hey Nat! Welcome to Ramblings and Romance. I'm pretty sure anyone reading knows what you do, but could you give us some rough estimates of how much you read in a given month? (include a comment on DNFs if you are so inclined)

This is the first year I’ve actually kept track of how much I read, as of almost the end of October I’ve read 155 books. (http://wickedlilpixie.com/2010-reading-challenge/ )  I read fast if the book draws me in, so some months I read a lot faster and some months are slower. That is not including the DNF’s I’ve “read” this year. Let me tell you, DNF’s are really hard for me. I feel guilty when I can’t finish a book believe it or not. I know how much work goes into writing a book, but I can’t help personal preference.

God I need a life.

Oh my God, that number is even bigger than I would have imagined, and you do interviews too. Don't you have a day job? How do you find time for it all?

Interviews take a lot more time in my case then it takes to write a review. I think it’s a must to research the author before the interview, god knows I wouldn’t want to answer the same questions 100 times. I try to make each interview unique for the author and if I “know” the author, I can usually get away with some snark back and forth which I love. Those really have been my favorite interviews, where I can get a rapport with an author & it’s not just standard or strained.

As for time, I got laid off months back, so this has been a way to keep my brain going while I decide where I want to go next career wise. I always thought I was going to end up in Forensics, after 3 years of college my brain said no thanks & I drifted for awhile in a few different careers. Now I finally know what I want to do with my life. *queue choir music singing Hallelujah*

Er...sorry about the lay off but Woohoo for knowing what you want to do with your life. So does that mean I shouldn't pester you about reviewing everything I have coming out over the next few months?

Not unless you want me to snark you in public ;) Lay off lady. LAY OFF!

Speaking of authors (because this question isn't about giving me ways to annoy you…nope, not at all), what are some things authors do that really irritate you as a reviewer?

I do have a few requirements before I even agree. First, my biggest pet peeve is when an author sends me a blind email without asking if I’d like to review the book. You’d be surprised how many times I get an email that’s an obvious mass email & they don’t register me as a person, more like a machine. Drives me insane, please just say Hello my name is, it takes two seconds to look on my site and find my name!

My other issue is when an author goes to my site, gets my email address, but doesn’t read what books I don’t review. Sorry, Historical Erotica just isn’t for me. And if you want the book reviewed in a certain period of time, say so when I ask and not constantly send me emails to see if I’ve read it yet! UGH.

Another thing that has been bothering me lately is the lack of line between personal life & author on Twitter. I’ve noticed some authors think its okay to rant & go uber personal all over social media. Some things I just don’t want to know, especially sexual things *shudder* Okay, I just scared myself all over again. I’ve seen way too much on Twitter I tell you, WAY TOO MUCH! My virginal eyes, they burn.

Okay, okay, no more talk of what melts in your mouth and not in your hands then. Anyway...With as busy as you are, it's got to be overwhelming sometimes. What can authors do to make it easier on you?

Don’t be demanding, it takes time for us bloggers to read a book & review it. We all have lives outside of blogging, family, friends, careers, health concerns, family concerns, bills, just real life issues that sometimes take up time. Most of us don’t make a dime doing this & while “free” books are great, a lot of time & effort is needed to do a review.

So patience is needed, but also be friendly! I love when I get an email from an author who I’ve never spoken to who says thank you for reviewing their book; it makes me feel like I am doing something other then talking to myself.

And god forbid, if I never reply to an email or my brain dumps & I forget to review your book…an email saying “hey, did you forget about me?” is fine, just don’t yell at me please. My TBR pile is trying to kill me in my sleep, while my email is trying to blind me during the day. I’m human, I forget sometimes.

Make a wish for the next book to come through your door. What would it be like?

Right now I am obsessed with Vicki Pettersson’s Zodiac Series. If someone’s written something similar, I’d cry tears of joy. I’m really on a darker UF kick, but I am always up for something snarky that makes me laugh.

Believe me, if I had one, I'd send it your way. Well, no I guess I wouldn't because you just told me not to. *sigh* There's just no pleasing you, is there?


Speed Round (Because I couldn’t let you get away without doing this. If you could only pick one of the following, which would it be?)


Booze or Food? Food (or coffee..mmm coffee)

Cursing or Reading? Reading whilst cursing?

Sex or Violence? Sex or I’d become violent.

Snark or Sleep? I’ve been told I snark in my sleep.

Spaz or Me? (Wait! No. Don't answer that one :P) A Spaz (Pam) & Seleste sandwich?


Is there anything else you'd like to tell my readers?

Umm. Love, peace & hair grease? Sorry, I’m having a weird Soul Train remixed in Pixie’s head moment. My brain is a weird place.

Thank you so much for stopping by, and I promise next time I'm in Toronto, you are tops on my list of people to visit (and I will keep stalking you on Twitter in the meantime) :)



For those of you who want to follow Natasha, and you know you do, she can be found at the Wicked Little Pixie blog, on Facebook, and Twitter. She's awesomely snarktastic and a whole lot of fun to be around.